I’m not entirely sure that this film constitutes ‘apocalyptic, post-apocalyptic and dystopian’ in the normal sense, however – with dystopian generally being defined as the world we know only messed up – I feel this film fits that description enough that I can share my experience on here!
My overwhelming view on Rubber can best be summed up as WTF?!?!?! I grew interested in obtaining the film after reading its IMDB synopsis: “When Robert, a tire, discovers his destructive telepathic powers, he soon sets his sights on a desert town; in particular, a mysterious woman becomes his obsession.” Now just take that in for a minute. When Robert… A TIRE….discovers his DESTRUCTIVE TELEPATHIC POWERS!!! How can you not want to watch that film?
Now here was me thinking that a thinking, homicidal, telepathic tire would be the weirdest thing about this film. How wrong I was. Believe it or not Robert the Tire was one of the less weird things in the film – the bit that made most sense. Hard as that is to believe, it is true.
The weirdest bit has to be EVERYTHING ELSE. The film starts as thus: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fTFbXLbv71Y I was going to try and describe it, but I just CAN’T! The guy with the binoculars then hands them out to a group of random people standing in the desert and cycles off, as the spectators stare into the distance to watch the film ‘Rubber’.
The film then cuts to a tire, that slowly wobbles, wobbles some more and then starts to roll itself about. The tire quickly learns that it can squish certain things, but when it fails to be able to squish a beer bottle it gets angry, begins to… vibrate?… and blows the bottle up with its mind. As you do. Robert the Tire then blows other things up with his mind including small animals and people’s heads. The film frequently cuts back to the group with the binoculars and that is the bit that really starts to get WTFish. The interaction between it being a film and being real is just trippy and very few words can explain how plain WEIRD Rubber is.
Even one of the characters expresses their confusion with this film “Excuse me, I hate to be a bother, but… the way I look at it, this scene makes no sense at all. Not that it was great to begin with, but at least I understood it. Now, this is just uh, totally confusing.” Fair point.
One completely random facet of this film I would like to point out however is how beautiful it is. The cinematography and photography for Rubber is exceptional. The style is very arty and light and depth of field are used to stunning effect. As a photographer I am just awed by the beauty of every shot – any screen shot is by itself a work of art. Phenomenal. If I am honest, that is the thing I enjoyed most about this film. The plot is just plain trippy, but the filming itself is beautiful and I quite happily watched a tire roll itself around a desert every so often exploding things purely for the visual style.
Words cannot really describe this film effectively, as you may have noticed, so give it a watch. It is weird as hell, completely incomprehensible and beautiful. One of the most bizarre indie movies I have ever watched.
Second Opinion: Paul
Oh, Rubber. The film that puts all others into perspective of how little sense something can make. The only reason I haven’t reviewed it is due to its questionable position as apocalyptic/dystopian, but an argument can be made for the film’s conclusion as meriting inclusion on Aplogalypse. Liz has pretty much covered everything, really. Me and some guys stumbled across this film on Netflix and with a premise like that you just can’t NOT watch it. And yes, the fact that a psychopathic tyre blowing people up is the least weird thing about the film is quite an acheivement. This film is utterly hilarious. Each scene gives you new reasons to question reality as you know it and expands your definition of “weird” exponentially. And whilst the exceptional cinematography and depth of field rather passed me by, I could tell that this wasn’t the shoddily made B movie I was expecting. This is a well-made film by people who clearly knew what they were doing. The only question is WHY were they doing it? I have no answers for you, but you gotta check this thing out.